How often do you catch yourself sitting with rounded shoulders and a curved spine? Do you force yourself to sit up straight, only to slump back down again? Well, it’s not just your appearance you’re doing a disservice to. It’s not even just your spine. Your lungs, digestion, head, and bank account can all suffer as a result.
1. It worsens anxiety and stress
When you slouch, you force your heart and lungs to work harder in order to pump useful oxygen around our bodies. This pushes your energy levels down as your body stops working as efficiently, and as a result, can actually worsen mental health problems. If you sit upright, pull your shoulders back, and breathe deeply, you’ll find that thoughts become clearer, and energy starts to come back – the effect is that immediate.
2. It causes digestive problems
Our digestive system is a complicated route of bags and tubes which break our food down to get the best nutrients out. When we sit all slumped over, we’re giving that system less room. It can even cause a pouch of fat to form at the front where visceral fat, the fat between your organs is pushed out forward like the filling of a sandwich when it’s compressed. Sit up straight and let your digestive organs do their job properly, and in the right place.
3. It causes pain
Slouching for long periods of time can actually cause permanent damage to the spine and the shoulders. This damage requires the help of a professional physiotherapist or chiropractor such as those at Corephysicalmedicine.com to even start to undo. This pain, over longer periods of time, is known to cause people to take time off work, and see a diminished quality of life as a result. If that’s not a reason to sit up straighter, I don’t know what is.
4. It causes breathing problems
Just like our digestive organs, our lungs need room to do their thing. If we cramp up and round our rib cage, our lungs are forced into a smaller area, so they’re not able to expand to their full capacity. This means we are able to take in less oxygen so we work more slowly and tire more quickly. Athletes and singers tend to have great posture because they understand the importance of using up every tiny bit of available lung space – we could learn a thing or two from them.
5. It causes headaches
Do you suffer from regular tension headaches, but you’re not sure why? The people at Philly.com suggest it could be a result of poor posture! Often, tension headaches are caused by neck and upper spine pain, which can result from the curving of the spine when slumping. This is especially problematic for office workers who spend all day on their computers. If this is you, try taking a break every half an hour just to stretch and straighten your spine for a couple of minutes. It could put an end to your tension headaches.
Poor posture doesn’t just affect your spine, but your overall wellbeing. If you’re slumping while you’re reading this: sit up straight. It could make a big difference to your life.